“If you say real talk I probably won’t trust ya.” - Andre 3000

For a musical genre completely obsessed with keeping it real does any one else find the state of hip-hop completely twisted nowadays?

Yeah we always knew our favorite rappers were lying but now they’re actually admitting it, and they’re getting a pass. I mean Mr. Trilla (that’s true and real for you newcomers) himself finally went on the record in last month’s XXL, copping out (pun intended) to his former role as a C.O. and he was still able to secure himself a number one slot on the charts. 50 Cent - another professed liar who reneged on his deal to retire if Kanye West outsold him in their ‘07’s SoundScan showdown – wasn’t even able to use the bold face lie to successfully “fuck up” his life, as promised.

Jim Jones is another example. Dude flat out lied on the radio when he denied speaking to his former best friend Cam’ron on the phone. While this blew up in his face - Cam says the lie was the proverbial "last straw" that ruined the chances of a full-fledged Dipset reunion – the public didn’t go up in arms. The Capo may be far from selling as many copies of his album as Ross, but they’re still playing “Dancing on Me” on Hot 97 every 10 minutes.

And what’s most interesting - and actually what inspired me to post this blog - is the situation with Clipse. After it was reported that an associate of theirs was indicted on charges of running a $10 million drug ring, Clipse rapper Malice – who built a career on rapping about coke - put a video on the net trying to put distance between his life on wax and his real persona. It was obviously an act of damage control, a ploy to keep his name out of the case, but that didn’t stop him from telling fans he wasn’t being truthful in his songs.

“I guess basically what I’m saying is when I get in that booth and I start recording I can drive as many Bentleys as I want,” he said. “I can hop on as many G5’s or drop as many tops as I want.”

In regards to his career in Hollywood, David Banner recently spoke to XXLMag.com about rap’s limitations. “One negative thing about being a rapper is that we have allowed our music to be turned into something that people take literally,” he said. “Music is supposed to have the ability to take you somewhere else, not keep you in the reality that you’re already in, because we already live the stuff that we talk about in most of our music. I don’t wanna hear that shit, too—not all the time.”

So that leads us to the question, is the age of “keeping it real,” “keeping it 100,” “keeping it trill,” or whatever the hell you call it, in hip-hop finally caput? Be honest... – Jesse Gissen